Keepers' Diaries, March 2017

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Nairobi Nursery Unit

Sadly this has been a busy month, one punctuated with rescue missions with no less than seven orphans coming to us and on two occasions and having to accomplish two rescues in one day! The pressures of the prolonged drought have obviously taken a toll on the creatures of the Natural World, both great and small, and incidences of human-wildlife conflict resulting in all too frequent separation of young babies from their mothers as well. The older females in the Nursery, namely Mbegu, Godoma, Dupotto and Ukame, as well as little Malkia, are the most welcoming and loving towards these newcomers seeking any given opportunity to be with them. Malkia has been a revelation with her caring nature coming to the fore this month, and we are sure that she will follow in the footsteps of Godoma and Mbegu, ultimately becoming a Matriarchal Leader for the nursery young in the future. Mbegu’s qualities as a potential Matriarch of the herd continue to astound us, as it has become clear that she knew each individual baby in their little herd, and would go out of her way to look for them if she could not see them.

Sadly this has been a busy month, one punctuated with rescue missions with no less than seven orphans coming to us and on two occasions and having to accomplish two rescues in one day! The pressures of the prolonged drought have obviously taken a toll on the creatures of the Natural World, both great and small, and incidences of human-wildlife conflict resulting in all too frequent separation of young babies from their mothers as well. The older females in the Nursery, namely Mbegu, Godoma, Dupotto and Ukame, as well as little Malkia, are the most welcoming and loving towards these newcomers seeking any given opportunity to be with them. Malkia has been a revelation with her caring nature coming to the fore this month, and we are sure that she will follow in the footsteps of Godoma and Mbegu, ultimately becoming a Matriarchal Leader for the nursery young in the future. Mbegu’s qualities as a potential Matriarch of the herd continue to astound us, as it has become clear that she knew each individual baby in their little herd, and would go out of her way to look for them if she could not see them.

The boys, apart from Murit, who is always caring of the other young orphans in the herd, are less interested in the new arrivals, and in fact it was quite amusing to watch Pare trying to run away from one little youngster who merely wanted to follow him! However, Pare and young bull Karisa have enjoyed chasing the girls around this month, especially Malkia and Sana Sana, making a nuisance of themselves, but such behavior is always expected of young bulls their age! The girls are clever enough to shake them off or even stand up to them sometimes. Ngilai has a playful naughty side to his nature which extends beyond just his peers, but also includes our blind rhino, Maxwell, as well. One night he must have been dreaming of Maxwell, as the first thing he did upon exiting his stockade first thing in the morning was to go and wake Maxwell up for some games, pushing and pulling on the gate to get his attention.

Lasayen and Rapa had us in stitches one day when they were fighting over a tree root, the resulting tussle ended up comically when both lost out to Big Boy Kelelari who grabbed the reward of the delicious prize. Young bull Luggard has been spending a lot of this month babysitting the baby herd, which suits him well since he has a gentle nature and also does not have to walk as far with them on his bad leg searching for browse during the current dry conditions. When he does opt to go down to the mud bath area, he clearly adores every minute in the mud pool, as does Enkesha, the poor little girl with the horrendous trunk snare-wound, which is miraculously healing remarkably well and she has now become the newest addition to our Fostering Program this month.

The amusing antipathy between Ambo and Esampu continues, and they are always in contest with one another, despite being Stockade neighbors which usually cements friendship! Enkesha seems to be following in Esampu’s footsteps by being one of the greediest babies in the Nursery. Yelling for milk her has even got on Esampu’s nerves who has driven her away from the herd or into the mud bath numerous times. She is one baby that is loved by all, but nevertheless is one of the noisiest for sure! Whilst Esampu might meet out the discipline on certain occasions, it is still Sana Sana who keeps her in line when she is misbehaving either with the Keepers or her peers.

Tagwa is growing to be very caring and social and likes to care for the younger babies, unless it is feeding time, and then she is friendly with no-one and likes to push the others around! Jotto and Malima are two orphans whose relationship seems to be blossoming, and they are often seen playing together throughout the day.

Kiko continues to have a mind of his own and pays little attention to the commands of his Keepers! He takes himself out into the forest whenever he feels like it, and even goes to the mud bath of his own accord, refusing to listen to the keepers when they want him to leave before the public 11am Elephant Visiting hour. He is certainly a stubborn character with mischievous tendencies.

Maxwell has been enjoying huge red earth sand piles that have been delivered to his stockade, savoring his mounds during siesta times. At night one hears him huffing and puffing interacting with the wild rhinos and Solio who often visit him and fraternize through the pillars of his stockade. He is incredibly patient and tolerant too of the warthogs who this dry season have become hooked on his lucerne rations, but Maxwell can be seen daily sharing his food and boma unselfishly with numerous warthog families!

March 2017 day to day

01 Mar

The first day of the third month of the year and all the orphans walked out of their stockades in a happy mood. The big females Ukame, Mbegu, Maramoja with the young girls Godoma, Sana Sana, Tagwa, Malkia, Esampu, Kuishi, Malima and tiny Tamiyoi were all busy welcoming the three little babies Musiara, Chumvi and Enkesha with the bad trunk. Mbegu, Godoma and Ukame were all struggling between them to be the one to take little Chumvi off into the forest, but the little one was presenting a challenge to them as he kept running back to his keeper. Seeing that he was not going to follow them anytime soon, Ukame and Mbegu decided to go over to Enkesha instead, leaving Godoma still vying for Chumvi’s attention. When he kept ignoring her preferring to suckle on his keepers fingers, she walked off and yelled in protest, but soon settled next to little Musiara . These days Kiko is showing less interest in spending his day out in the forest with the elephants like he used to. Today when he came out of his stockade, he only walked as far as the end of Maxwell’s stockade and just watched the warthogs who were grazing in the bushes there. His keeper tried to lead him out with a milk bottle but he only drank it and returned back to the stockade area! From there he walked from one stockade to the next, peering inside; what he was looking for we were not sure.

Big girl Ukame messing around

Maramoja playing around

Godoma going to greet the babies

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